If you’re a mk5 Golf GTI driver feeling a bit off the pace since the arrival of the new Focus RS, Autograph Cars may have what you need. And I don’t mean five litres of fluorescent green paint and a skip full of spoilers.
If you peeled off the stickers all you’d really notice is the different wheels, but a lot has been done to this Golf in all the right areas. It produces an unequivocal 305bhp yet retains the regular engine’s characteristics and manners, while the gearshift is shorter and crisper and the uprated ten-pot Tarox front brakes work harder. Polyurethane bushes are fitted to the front suspension arms and the rear gearbox mount, and there are shorter Eibach sports/road springs, too.
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The upshot is that this Golf drives just like the regular version, only more so. There’s more bite and more conviction but no loss of comfort or usability. I love it, especially the auxiliary boost gauge that sits atop the steering column and perfectly matches the stock, blue-lit dials. You’d think it was from the factory, and the same goes for the whole kit, which comes in at £7995, fitted.
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1984cc, turbo|
|Max power||305bhp @ n/a rpm|
|Max torque||298lb ft @ n/a rpm|
|Top speed||160mph+ (est)|
|On sale||Now (www.autographcars.co.uk)|